We made it safe to Barcelona on Tuesday! The trip took about two and half hours from Prague, and the flight was pretty good. We had some slight turbulence when leaving Prague, but it was only a few minutes, and then the plane was at cruising altitude and the ride was very smooth! The only surprise on the flight was that it wasn't completely full! There were empty seats here and there...which made for a more comfortable ride!! There were a couple of very pretty sights on the trip to Barcelona--the Alps--very beautiful--I even saw a huge glacier winding its way down one mountainside! The other sight was the Mediteranean Sea!
The Mediteranean Sea...I saw the it for the first time on our flight to Barcelona! It is vast and beautiful. The sun was out, and the sea was a very deep blue when seen from the air...very pretty. As we flew over the water, it was possible to see many boats and ships--some huge tankers--that were on the way in to port. As we neared the airport, the scenery was so similar to flying into the airport at Corpus Christi, Texas (on the Gulf of Mexico)! I was shocked...if I hadn't known better, I would have thought I was in Corpus! The only difference between flying in to Barcelona were the mountains that ring the city. There are definitely no mountains around Corpus Christi!
The airport in Barcelona is very big, but it is pretty easy to find your way around. All the signs are in Spanish and English, and other languages, so we had no trouble finding the way. We did have to ask directions to the bus, but the people there were very friendly and gave us good instructions--we found the bus OK! This airport, like other major airports around the world, is full of stores and restuarants...I even saw that Mexican food is offered there! The airport is a very lively place--it was pretty crowded...but it is nice and clean.
Our bus took us to Plaza Catalunya...near the city center. The ride through town was pretty impressive--there is a mix of modern and very old buildings, which lends a charming aspect to the city. Once you near the city center, most of the buildings are older...very pretty. We chose to walk from the plaza to our hotel--which was about an hour's walk. Walking allows you to see more and to also get your bearings when in a new place! We had a very good map, plus I had found the directions to our hotel online, so we didn't get lost. Our walk took us from the very busy business center, to a more residential area that is also very busy, but not as crowded as the business center! All the streets are a bit windy and pretty. The apartments are on top, with stores on the main street...and here, too, people like to hang flower baskets on their balconies--it is very pretty to see all of these bright colored flowers in the center of the city!! We also walked through many small plazas that are like small parks--people sit out on benches in the day time, enjoying the passersby and small kids are playing...and pigeons abound!!
The hotel is very nice and very modern...very clean. Our room is great--with air conditioning, a huge bathroom, flat screen TV, king-sized bed. The only thing that I don't like is that they charge for the Internet. It is 12 Euros for 24 hours of connection! So, this will most likely be the only post I will make from here! Otherwise, the hotel, the food, etc are all really nice!
We came here for work, so my husband and I haven't been out sightseeing yet. That will come tomorrow and Saturday. We will be walking all day and taking lots of pictures!!!!
Anyway, that's all for now...you all have a great day! See you next week, from our home in Prague! I'll be writing about our adventures and the sights we see...and have a lot of pictures to share!
(c) 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath